COVID-19 survivors sought to help in fight against virus

Published: Apr. 27, 2020 at 7:40 PM EDT
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The Food and Drug Administration is teaming with the American Red Cross to find people willing to donate plasma towards research.

Convalescent plasma is blood taken from survivors which would contain the antibodies that could fend off the virus.

“This is the challenge of our time: COVID-19 and our red cross teams embrace the effort. They’ve been working around the clock with the FDA and with our partners,” said Jonathan McNamara with the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross has already set up a website for people to apply.

From there, you can be screened with questions such as whether or not you currently have symptoms, or if you’ve had follow up test to confirm you’re all cured.

Many heeded the call, however, McNamara says only a few were actually qualified.

“We’ve had thousand of people across the country have visit the website and fill out the screening. We’re seeing right now that it’s a little less than 10% have actually met that eligibility criteria,” he said.

Last week, the Austrian Red Cross kicked-off its antibody research, using the blood from a surgeon who overcame the illness.

That Red Cross branch now has 100 donors lined up, but they’re still looking for more. Back in the Commonwealth, McNamara says that The American Red Cross is doing the same.

“We’re working to screen as many people as possible for this, because we know there’s no end date," he added.

He says that for people that may not be eligible to donate plasma, they can still donate blood as there will undoubtedly be a demand as the nation bounces back and elective surgeries and other procedures commence again.